EXPEDITIONS IN OUR OWN BACKYARD – THE PRODUCT TESTING PROCESS WITH SVP OF BRAND, MARK HUBNER

Camp Cold

In the winter of 2019 Baffin hosted Camp Cold, an expedition-inspired event attended by a combination of product testing partners, media, and influencers. Hosted at a wildlife reserve in Northern Ontario, a handful of Baffin products were tested through a variety of activities including skiing, winter biking, snow shoeing and camping.  

As a proud Canadian company and inspired by the Lake Effect expedition which took place the year before, SVP of Brand, Mark Hubner notes “we wanted to plan an expedition in our own backyard, to showcase the incredible and diverse landscapes Ontario has to offer. Ontario’s great terrain has allowed us to test products and share what that experience was like with consumers.” He hoped the expedition would inspire users to experience the unique activities Ontario has to offer.

During Camp Cold a selection of extreme cold climate products were tested. The best of the best from each product line was put to the test through various winter sports and activities, including the Three Pin Boot series and Ultralight collection. As Hubner put it “our products aren’t just for the most extreme expeditions on the planet. We want to make sure they perform well on weekends for people who want to participate in regular winter activities.”

Camp Cold tested the latest products from the Borealis boot and Icebite™ styles to the Ultralight collection and our Three Pin Boot. The goal was to showcase the versatility of these collections within various winter activities. The group tested the breathability of the liners and the ability to pull moisture away from the foot when everyone was active and perspiring – keeping their feet dry and warm. “It was an exciting opportunity to show how far the collection can go in terms of the many different activities winter has to offer” states Hubner.

Testing Process

“Baffin’s testing process is two-fold” explains Hubner. “The first portion involves factory and lab testing in a controlled environment. Our products are tested on a flex machine but, to rely solely on machine testing would limit our learning. The other side of testing involves Real World Testing (RWT) in which our products are tested all over the globe in a broad range of temperatures and challenging conditions. Real world testing allows us to see how our product withstands a more diverse terrain – snow, ice, rock and a mixture of the earths different elements.”

This testing process is important for Baffin because it is a key point of difference for the brand. On one hand Baffin relies on RWT™ which allows the product to be tested in harsh conditions, to the point where it may succumb to its environment. Hubner notes, “That aspect is important because if the product does not reach our expected standard, we can improve it to ensure it won’t fail for the consumer.”

On the other hand, Baffin relies on ambassador and consumer feedback through emails, reviews, and phone calls. Hubner claims, “Our products would not be what they are today without consumer feedback and the testing conducted by our brand ambassadors, influencers and development partners.”

Baffin is always adjusting the expectations of product performance during the different real-world testing experiences because they recognize that every product and adventure will be different. “What we do expect,” Hubner notes, “Is to continuously learn and put ourselves in a position where we can make the best product possible.” This is done through the RWT™ process for both new products and legacy products that Baffin has had for years for continued evolution and improvement.

Competition

There are a lot of competitors in the industry, so what makes Baffin unique? Hubner notes that, “We have a lot of friends in the industry who put out fantastic, high-performance products. They strive to be the best in their performing areas. Baffin’s area of expertise is innovative cold climate footwear and we make the best cold climate boots on the planet. We do not hold ourselves to competitor benchmarks because we want to be the best that we can be and when we are making a boot that we believe is the best in class, we always look for ways to make it better.”

Where to Purchase Baffin Products

Consumers can purchase Baffin products directly online or at select outdoor retail partners. Please visit the store locator for retail locations near you.

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